Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Me!

I did not change the title of my blog and add a new header in the hopes of having more visitors from McKMama's Not Me Monday Carnival!

I'm absolutely not dying to know who's checking my blog regularily and never comments!

I probably would not go visit their blogs if they signed in and said "Hi."

I certainly did not just stand by and take pictures while my daughter played in the oven drawer.

If anything be excellent...

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.

These are the words I read the day of my grandfather's funeral four years ago and the words we read together today in church. These were the words of God that my grandpa brought to life everyday that I knew him. Shortly before he died, he struggled to tell me that he felt bad for the times he was too hard on me. I assured him I forgave him even though I certainly don't remember.

Last year, my grandpa's heavenly birthday passed during that blissfully foggy time after Amanda came home. This year I'm enjoying remembering him in the changing fall leaves, picking up sticks, blooming mums and the words of Scripture. My heart aches, yet I am full of joy.

P.S. Amanda was good wrapped on my back while I played piano this morning. In fact, it's the quietest she's been in church. However, when Congregational Sharing began, she thought it was her turn to start talking. There were a lot of praises today and her sweet chatter was a wonderful addition.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Learn and Play

At our last appointment, our chiropractor asked me what I did for teaching Amanda. She was curious when home schooling actually begins. Besides Amanda's jobs and
reading here are some ways she spends her school time. Playing with the Shape-O-Ball while I correct math homework.
Cleaning up leaves from the deck.
Learning to jump rope. (Okay, it will be a while before that happens.)
Sharing with the neighbor boy.

I love having a toddler!

Mums from My Hon'

Remember when we hauled and spread all that black dirt? We planted grass over most of the area but saved a small patch for a garden. Since it was too late to plant vegetables, I asked Mike and the boys to go find me some colorful annuals to fill in the space until next year. I assumed they would finds flats of annuals really cheap that late in the season.

They came back with nine perennial mums. They have finally started blooming and they are just beautiful. Since my grandpa's funeral was in the fall, many of the flower arrangements included mums. Mums remind me of my grandpa now and are very special to me. What a good husband I have!

Now it's even more official!

We received Amanda's official new birth certificate in the mail last week. The new birth certificate lists her new name, the place she was born, and Mike and I as her parents. I'm pretty sure this is the last piece of the puzzle. It might have come sooner but it took three months for somebody to realize that Minnesota can't issue a new birth certificate because she was born in Texas.

Now that Amanda's one year old, we will only need to send pictures to the birth family twice a year. We are open to having them apart of Amanda's life and getting to know them better, but that depends on their wishes. If they like, we'll still keep in touch through email. Of course, they can always come visit the blog and see that she is growing into a busy little lady.

Amanda and I had our physicals today. Amanda did well at the doctors office but they kept us waiting long enough for a disaster and long enough for the evidence to disappear. Amanda couldn't figure out her spill-proof sippy cup, so I took the cover off. I was holding it so she wouldn't drink too fast and she was trying to pull it up. My hand slipped and we were both got covered in orange juice. Luckily she was already stripped down to her diaper and my pants dried by the time we left.

Amanda weighed 20 lb. and 4 oz. She measured 29 in. tall. She hasn't gained much weight but she's grown taller.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It gets better everyday.

Amanda is learning new skills each day. Today she began signing "more". She didn't actually want more milk, but she copied my signing when I asked her. She made the sign again for Daddy at dinner. Besides clapping, she has also been trying to blow kisses and folding her hands when we pray before meals. Amanda has often grabbed for the comb when I've been brushing her hair but this week she tried to brush her own hair.

It's wonderful to watch her grow and learn.

Amanda has also started complaining when she is separated from us. Until two weeks ago, whenever I played piano with the worship team at church, I would hand Amanda to one of the church ladies before service. She would sit happily in the service until the sermon. Then I would take her out and feed her and take her to the potty. Then I would give her back for the last song after the sermon. But two weeks ago, she started fussing the minute I handed her off and wouldn't be content with her church sitter. I ended up sitting out with her for the whole service since it had never happened before and we didn't have a plan.

We go to a very small church and there aren't regular nursery workers because there aren't always kids who need the nursery. Usually, I only play once a month and Mike plays every week, but this month we play three Sundays in a row. Last Sunday there were two other kids in the nursery with their grandma and so she sat with Amanda. Amanda cried for a little bit and then played with the kids. During the sermon I fed and toileted her and then I strapped Amanda to my back for the last song.

I usually strap her to my back during practice and she's good for most of the hour we practice. Toward the end she gets wiggly and starts pulling my hair as she trying to stand up in the wrap.
I'm considering strapping her on my back for next Sunday's service, because I would rather her have her in the service with us. She was pretty mellow during that last song and she might behave better than she does during practice. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kung Fu 'Manda

Amanda played with this broom handle all through dinner. The deck is right off the dining room so we just left the door open while we ate. We were talking and when we laughed, Amanda would laugh, too. Either she thought we were laughing at her or she just didn't want to miss out on the fun.

Then last night I remembered that my dad had bought this adorable costume because Mike has been calling our daughter "Amanda Bear" since she came home. So, today's pictures are even cuter!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Celebrating a Heavenly Birthday

This week we will celebrate my grandpa's fourth birthday...into heaven, that is. It's a Catholic thing. Saints feast days are on the day they died instead of the day they were born because that was their birthday into heaven. For my mom's family that means balloons at funerals and remembering the anniversary as a birthday. I remember spending many, many hours picking up sticks with my grandpa and when I saw Amanda with this little handful, I knew he would be proud of her.

Capturing Amanda's smiles has proved tricky lately. Here we are using the timer on the camera. I could get her smiling and then the camera started beeping like a bomb about to exploded and this little look of concern would spread across Amanda's face.

There's the smile. I was playing peek-a-boo behind a tree.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Read Me a Story!

This week Amanda brought me a book and "asked" me to read it to her. She wanted me to point to the pictures and say the names. Then she would point to the pictures and chatter.
She's always loved books but mostly she just carried them around and chewed on them. Mike's been working with her to sit still and look a the pages one by one. He very good at shortening the story for her attention span.
The first book she brought me was this charming little story called "Where's Baby?" Amanda started playing her own version by hiding in the book.
What's the best way to get out the wiggles that build up during story time? Play football with Daddy! Mike would spin the football on it's end and Amanda would catch it.
So far, having a girl hasn't been that much different. She still plays with balls, sticks, trucks, rocks and dirt. She is just usually dressed prettier while doing it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Winterizing Amanda's Wardrobe

What do you do when you wake up in the morning and it's only 45 degrees and much too cold to wear this cute little leopard spotted dress?

Winterize, of course! I found these cute little long sleeve t-shirt and leggings at Wal-Mart. They will keep her warm and toasty and I won't have to pack away this adorable little dress now that it's fall.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Great Outdoors

A friend asked me if Mike was enjoying Amanda more than he thought he would. He said, " Absolutely!" I guess you just can't imagine how wonderful a blessing with be until you're holding it in your hand.
He's had his special Daddy moments, too. Recently, I brought her into his place of work and in a room full of strangers, she cried and reach out for him for safety and comfort. That was very special to him. Of course, the daily squeals of delight when he walks in the door are sweet treasures, also.
Amanda loves to play outside and Mike loves to take her out and introduce her to the natural world.
They collect acorns, rocks and sticks. Then on Saturday during dinner, Mike spotted this owl in our backyard. We've only seen two owls in the four and half years we've lived here. It was a rare treat. Can anyone identify it? Mom? If you click on the picture you can see it up close.

Amanda Chatter

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It isn't pretty!

Our biker buggy, that is, but we love it. It's worn out, the clips are rusty, that pads are torn off, the plastic is cracked, the canopy and flag are long gone and the handle bar is held on by croquet wires.
It used to be new and pretty and have all the parts when I was pregnant with Tony. Here's Tyler, a friend and Grandma Cathy. But after six grandkids, twelve years, numerous friends and hundreds of miles, it's looking a little rough.
And let's not forget how it's been used since it came back to our house. The little neighbor boy actually thought we brought it home for him, since he was the only one who used it last year before Amanda came home. It can fit two kids but he wouldn't ride with Amanda in "his" stroller. Can you guess why Tyler is driving so fast?
They were trying to catch Tony!

I think it's good for a few more miles.